Fiber optic cable consists of tiny glass or plastic filaments that transmit light beam and is used as a high-speed transmission medium. The fiber optics transmission at the receiving end decodes the light pulses to binary values that can be read by a computer. Although, fiber optics cables give an edge over the copper cables, with the comparison on a few determinants helps to justify which one is better and best suited for the purpose.
The cost of fiber components has witnessed a decrease in recent times. Although, once the price of the optical cord was two times that of copper wire, but nowadays the cost variance is minimal. Moreover, the cost of copper wires can get higher by considering the rate of wiring closets, which includes data ground, uninterrupted power sources, and HAVC (Hybrid Automatic Voltage Control). Furthermore, a complete fiber LAN is additionally cost-effective, as compared to the copper-based network.
Copper wire has a limited bandwidth of 60Gbps, whereas fiber cords are capable of providing 1000 times as much bandwidth than copper. Fiber cables travel a longer distance in less time, such that a 500-meter fiber wire can conduct 1GHz. Furthermore, signal loss is minor in an optical cable, whereas copper wire at higher frequency provides higher losses and is also noisy.
Transmission speed and distance
Photons are ineffective at providing 100% efficiency for attaining the speed of light. Although, with a 31% slower speed, it is considerably faster than the speed of electrons. This is the major difference that exists between copper and fiber. Furthermore, copper wires illustrate the restriction of 100 meters, whereas in optics the distance ranges from 550 meters for 10 Gbps single-mode, to 40 KMs for multi-mode.
In copper cables, the electrical signal can be trapped, which leads to the failure of the entire system. In the case of copper cables, if the system gets failed, it becomes difficult to identify the leakage. Moreover, in the case of fiber cables, it is easier to identify the broken wire, because of numerous monitoring techniques running for detection of its flaws.
Moreover, with the previous points, it can be concluded that the use of fiber optic cable is best fitted for future demand owing to its low cost. Adding to this, with an elevated growth in transmission speeds, the rise in bandwidth and other features make it a superior and consistent medium for networking. It is one of the most substantial mediums for advanced installations and upgrades.